God Holds You offers a chronicle of hope. As we entered the Pandemic Wilderness in March 2020, progressive Lutheran pastor Sarah Scherschligt began publishing daily reflections about adapting to the new constraints. Written with her congregation in mind, these real-time posts transcend the self and her faith community to form a relatable narrative that is both … Continue reading What is mine to do?
COVID, or Covfefe?
Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?
Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog
Thanksgiving. The most American day of the year. More American, perhaps, than the Fourth of July. Throw in a hyperbolically American venue---Texas stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys---and you've got Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (also now in theaters). For the heroes of Bravo squad, barnstorming the U.S. on a brief victory tour to rile up … Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog
a diplomatic noir
At PeaceCorpsWorldwide author and reviewer John Rouse calls Two Pumps for the Body Man "Reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous and equally hilarious anti-war novel Catch-22." Ben East’s humorous yet deadly serious diplomatic noir Two Pumps for the Body Man should be required reading for any youngster contemplating a foreign service career along the conflict-torn borders of the vast American empire. It’s … Continue reading a diplomatic noir
What is the WOT
Three novelists offer their views of Two Pumps for the Body Man, a satire about life on the front line of the War on Terror. ...the pace is fast... Two Pumps is a page-turner, baby, and it takes some real balls to satirize the great Christian crusade of our times. ...a wry ode to the cluster-f*** of … Continue reading What is the WOT
Kingly Reads for the Throne
Eight great books to get you through those lonely moments with the fan on. Presented in no particular order—the right book will depend on your mood, and the size of the job before you. 1. The Onion Ad Nauseum This is closest to reading the old classic: an actual newspaper. It’s a little heavy to … Continue reading Kingly Reads for the Throne
Chris Belden’s Shriver might be called a book about a novelist who wrote a book called Goat Time which everybody seems to enjoy but nobody seems to have read, at least not entirely, including not the author Shriver himself. Add to this nonsensical loop a few day’s worth of swarming mosquitoes, a crate or two … Continue reading Review: Shriver
If laughter is good medicine, William Walsh presents sick remedy in Pathologies. His short collection of diseased proceedings is more than the sum of its madness. Walsh is a gifted writer, by turns astounding with sharp phrases and surprising with brief, unpredictable arcs. One way to treat this is by engaging the peculiar brilliance of individual … Continue reading Review–Pathologies
My copy of Old Sparky—The Electric Chair and the History of the Death Penalty arrived the day after a federal jury ended 14 hours of deliberation during which they concluded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserved death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack. This was no accident. I requested the copy as a means of examining … Continue reading Review–Old Sparky
Did you know that Popular Online Vendor X bans "distasteful content" from honest reviews of the very books they'd be happy to sell you? That's right: reviews of books full of obscenities sold on their site won't be posted if those reviews contain the same profane, immoral, or distasteful content as the product they want you to buy. I tried for two weeks to … Continue reading Banned Reading